We will be there to greet you when you arrive (into either Bangkok airport) and will take you straight to our hotel, just a stone’s throw away from the famous backpacker hotspot of Khao San road. Even if you arrive one or two days before the start of the trip we will still pick you up, will introduce you to any other early arrivals and give you some ideas for things to do and see in Bangkok before the tour starts.There are no activities planned for day one so you have time to get settled in, meet your new travel buddies and get ready for one of our best: The Northern Thailand and Beaches tour. In the evening we’ll take you to one of our favorite restaurants and then for a few drinks on Khao San road so we can all get to know each other over an ice cold beer (or two).
Leaving Bangkok in the morning by private mini bus, we’ll get a real taste of Thailand as our first stop is Taling Chan floating market, possibly one of the coolest sites to see around Bangkok. After a bit of sightseeing and shopping, we head on to Kanchanaburi where we take part in another water based activity as we jump on a boat and cruise down the river Kwai exploring your new surroundings. We head to the famous ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ for sunset.
Just an hour away from Kanchanaburi sits possibly Thailand’s most famous waterfall, and for a country that boast many waterfalls both big and small, that is no small claim. Erawan waterfall has seven tiers with different features and every one of them is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Make sure you bring a towel and your swimming costume because you will undoubtedly want to take a dip in the crystal clear water on some, if not all, of the levels as we trek from one to the next. When we arrive back at our guesthouse you will have a few hours to explore the town or chill by the pool before we catch up in the evening for dinner and a few drinks.
After a bit of a lie in we get back on the road to the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya. It’s absolutely dripping in history and culture. We’ll explore the ancient city ruins by bike, take in the incredible sights of the UNESCO world heritage site and learn a little about the fascinating history of this place, and indeed the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). After grabbing a bite to eat, we hop onto the night train to our next destination, Chiang Mai. The train is a true Thai experience, everyone gets their own berth, complete with fresh sheets and linen. You can use the time on the train to catch up on sleep or take in the views. We’ll arrive nice and early the following day in the beautiful northern city of Chiang Mai.
After we check into our new accommodation, which is ideally situated between the old and new areas of Chiang Mai, you’ll have time to chill by the pool, explore your new surroundings, or check out the oldest temple in Chiang Mai (which is right opposite our hotel). After some lunch we jump in a cab up to the most famous temple in Chiang Mai – Wat Pra Maha Doi Sutthep (or just Doi Sutthep for short) – This beautiful temple is situated way up high on the side of a mountain, so the views from the top are just incredible and you get a panoramic view of the whole of Chiang Mai below.
Today we head off to do one of northern Thailand’s must-do activities – a jungle trek. During the two-day trek we’ll see plenty of cool things, and even spend a night in a hill tribe village home-stay. You’ll experience what day to day living is like for the many traditional hill tribes of the region, whose way of life has not changed a lot for generations. During the trek you’ll see all kinds of trees, plants and wildlife; we’ll do some bamboo rafting in the river and maybe even stop by another waterfall or two to freshen up after some long walks. This does not require a very high level of fitness but is a bit of a challenge, so you will definitely have earned the next beer we crack open when we get back to Chiang Mai!
Chiang Mai is often referred to as the adventure capital of Thailand. There are loads of cool activities to do up here, and our absolute favourite of these (and probably the most popular) is ziplining; an amazing experience certain to get the heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Soar from platform to platform through the canopy of the jungle up to 50m above the ground, throw in some rope bridges and a few abseils and you’ll experience the jungle in an entirely different (and much faster) way than walking through it at ground level.
Today we will get to know some of the planet’s most amazing and majestic creatures. At this sanctuary, all of the elephants are free to roam and are not forced to do anything unnatural. When we arrive we will be given a quick briefing and learn about some of the resident elephants, then we can feed them some sugar cane and banana (which they love) and get to know them a bit before we wander with them down to the river for a swim and bathe. In the afternoon we’ll jump in a minibus and follow the mountain roads to the cool and quirky little town of Pai. It’s about three hours outside of Chiang Mai and is now a very popular backpacker destination for a number of good reasons. Nice scenery, cool stuff to see and do, very chilled vibe, lovely people, good bars and excellent food. Winning!
We’ll explore the surrounding areas of Pai today. Starting with Lod Cave, Thailand’s biggest cave; we’ll either trek through the main chambers, or float through on a bamboo raft (depending on the season and accessibility). We’ll then make our way to the hot springs, crystal clear and heated by geothermal activity. Use the clay to give yourself a natural facial, and relax in the perfect temperature water. Finish off at Pai Canyon for some impressive views of the surrounding landscape, as we watch the sunset.
Today is yours to spend as you like; time for some free time. Opt to spend a bit more time in bed in the morning; and then head to Fluid Swimming Pool Bar where most of the backpackers in the area head to socialise, cool down and relax. We’ll head over to Pai Circus School afterwards, where you can either learn how to do circus skills such as fire spinning, hula hooping, juggling and slacklining. If that’s not your thing, there’s an awesome bar and even better vibes to be enjoyed.
We’ll head back to Chiang Mai today; where we’ll stuck into a cooking class. Thai cuisine is incredible, and it’s your turn to learn from the masters how to cook your favourite dishes at a local cooking school. We’ll visit a market first, where you’ll be taught everything there is about the ingredients they use. The best part of the whole thing, is that you get to eat the feast you’ve all cooked as a group. It’s a very authentic Thai experience, and definitely a way of impressing family and friends at home when you whip up these dishes for them when you’re back.
Chiang Mai’s very own Grand Canyon. It’s an old excavation site which is now a man-made lagoon that has been turned into an adult playground, great place to spend a day. There are floaties to chill on in the water, paddle boards, tubes; and if you are brave enough, you can have a go at cliff jumping, deep water soloing, or climbing on their new climbing wall. In the evening we head out into town for our last night here.
After checking out, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, hit the markets, or explore Chiang Mai a little more; before jumping onto the overnight train back to Bangkok.
Time to explore the country’s capital - Bangkok. Zip around the city in tuk tuks, visiting two of Bangkok’s prestigious temples - Wat Arun and Wat Pho, where you’ll see the giant, gold reclining Buddha. We’ll then ditch the tuk tuks for a longtail boat as we see the city from the Chao Phraya River. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore your new surroundings, grab a bite to eat from the numerous street vendors, or try your luck at bartering at the markets. In the evening we’ll meet for dinner, then head out for drinks on Khao San Road - the backpacker Mecca of the city.
Tonight we hit the tracks as we travel on an overnight train down south, so indulge yourself in a tradition Thai massage before we board to really relax before our journey, as we swap the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for the tranquil lakes of Khao Sok National Park which is situated in the Surat Thani province of Thailand.
Picture a freshwater lake surrounded by lush rainforest; this is home for the night. We will be staying in the floating bungalows of Khao Sok tonight for a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. Before the sunset, try your hand at some kayaking or chill with a beer in a tube in front of the stunning backdrop of this limestone mountain range. This place has always been one of our personal favourites.
We are up bright and early today to enjoy breakfast on the lake before we head on to Koh Phangan, where we make our way straight to a paradise that is so secluded it’s like no where you’ve seen before. Welcome to Bottle Beach, a true TruTravels favourite! Only accessible by boat, this place is insanely beautiful, and we pretty much get the whole beach to ourselves! Laze around on the beach, have a game of volleyball or head out for a swim before this evening’s dinner and cocktails, which we enjoy campfire style right on the sand, just a stone’s throw away from our beachfront huts.
This morning you will wake up to the sound of the rolling waves of bottle beach and feel totally chilled. Kayaking, topping up your tan or seeing the view points on a trek, whatever you do just make the most of it, because early afternoon we will be picked up and taken to a local gym to try your hand at Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai boxing. Workout over, it's time to make our way to out awesome accommodation for our final couple of nights.
All aboard the island boat trip! Today we embark on a voyage that takes us all around Koh Phangan. Surrounded by incredible tropical island scenery, there will be plenty of time to stop off for some snorkelling at the coolest hotspots on the island and we will also visit Than Sadet waterfall (seasonal). To top it all off, we have a free bucket (+ paid bar onboard) and food throughout the trip. Tonight is our last hurrah, so after dinner, we hit the local bars to cap off one hell of an adventure. The goodbyes continue back at the beach bars with drinks and dancing as we call close on an amazing time in Thailand
There is nothing worse than an early check out, so that’s why we enjoy a chilled check out at 11am. Our staff will be on hand to help you plan your next steps, whether that’s heading back to Bangkok for your flight home or continuing your adventure we will make sure you get to where you need to go.